Engineering Guide and Review
What Do Electronic Engineers Do?
Electronics engineering, also referred to as electronic engineering is an engineering discipline which uses the scientific knowledge of the behavior and effects of electrons to develop components, devices, systems, or equipment (as in electron tubes, transistors, integrated circuits, and printed circuit boards) that uses electricity as part of its driving force. Both terms denote a broad engineering field that encompasses many subfields including those that deal with power, instrumentation engineering, telecommunications, semiconductor circuit design, and many others.
The term also covers a large part of electrical engineering degree courses as studied at most European universities. In the U.S., however, electrical engineering encompasses all electrical disciplines including electronics. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is one of the most important and influential organizations for electronics engineers.
In the field of electronic engineering, engineers design and test circuits that use the electromagnetic properties of electrical components such as resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes and transistors to achieve a particular functionality. The tuner circuit, which allows the user of a radio to filter out all but a single station, is just one example of such a circuit.
In designing an integrated circuit, electronics engineers first construct circuit schematics that specify the electrical components and describe the interconnections between them. When completed, VLSI engineers convert the schematics into actual layouts, which map the layers of various conductor and semiconductor materials needed to construct the circuit. The conversion from schematics to layouts can be done by software (see electronic design automation) but very often requires human fine-tuning to decrease space and power consumption. Once the layout is complete, it can be sent to a fabrication plant for manufacturing.
Integrated circuits and other electrical components can then be assembled on printed circuit boards to form more complicated circuits. Today, printed circuit boards are found in most electronic devices including televisions, computers and audio players.